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January 4, 2008

Embed PowerPoint Presentations Using Google Docs

When you publish a presentation at Google Docs, there's a new option that lets you add the slideshow to your site. Google calls this "the mini presentation module", but it's more like a YouTube player that happens to display a presentation. Unlike YouTube, the embedded presentation doesn't use Flash and there's no auto-play, so you need to manually advance to the next slide.

To see the embedded presentation, click on the image:

Since Google's presentation app uses a lot of memory, doesn't have an export option and it's impossible to use if you want to create a decent presentation, the new viewer is a good option if you want to add an existing presentation to your site. You only need to upload it to Google Docs, publish it and then copy the code.

Other sites that offer presentation viewers are: Scribd (which accepts many other file types and has a multi-file uploader), Slideshare (that doesn't require login and has a file size limit of 30 MB). Surprisingly enough, none of these two sites offer auto-play and, even if it has the most advanced viewer, Scribd requires to scroll down to see the next slides. Here's the same presentation above at Scribd and at Slideshare.

{ Presentation by Brent Callinicos, Vice President and Treasurer at Google. News found by Google Blogoscoped }


  1. This is an area where I would hope Google does a lot better, and soon. Powerpoint, in my estimation is a prime example of bloatware. The application itself is too big (didn't the original viewer fit on a floppy?) and the slide shows can get enormous, and slow, unless you have the latest hardware.

    I don't do a lot of this type of thing, but the last time I did I finally converted the presentation to PDF format using Open Office and not only was did the show present faster on my older laptop, but the file was half the size. I could tell no different in the quality of what was shown either.

    Considering I did this with open source software, at minimum I'd like the Google version to be able to do the same PDF export. Of course it wouldn't be that hard to do the whole thing as a local html file either, but that would include creating a local sub directory with png files or something and I know from experience that multiple files can get separated from one another such that you either lose the graphics or the text and end up with something fairly useless.

  2. Also Zoho offers embed options for a long time. This is a good addition from Google, but I hope they add autoplay or provide adjustable play options in the future versions. One good option is to watch this presentation in Google docs and chat with clients about the presentation.

  3. Wait, look at slide.. 5 or 6, it says, "Hold User Data Hostage" at the bottom...weird...

  4. @James:
    Check the title of that slide: "We do not...".

  5. Anyone else having a problem with the graphics and text on the slides? For example, on slide 6, where it says 'Develop vertical solutions' and Create content' - the word 'solutions' is overlayed on the words 'Create content'. And at the bottom of that slide, the Google logo is covering (in front of) the text. All I can read on the last bullet is 'Hold Hosta'.
    I noticed that in almost every slide where there should be text in front of a Google logo, it is behind it instead. And on slide 18, for item #7, I can't read any words after the word 'abused,'. I am using FF2 and also tried viewing it in IE7, but got the exact same results. I wouldn't think any browser setting would cause these type of display issues, would they? I also viewed the full size slideshow, and got the same results again. When viewing the other two presentations from Scribd and Slideshare, I had no problems with any text or graphics on them.

  6. Actually Powerpoint is the only application of microsoft I could call a decent application (and the only application I prefer over its open source alternatitives...) Strange enough this is mainly because only powerpoint seems to work everywhere fast in contradiction of what I read here.

    PS. I normally still use OO.o as I work on linux... yet sometimes I miss powerpoints functions(especially the 2007 wordart, which was the first proffesional wordart I ever saw and which was not a piece of child play)

  7. I think OpenOffice Impress is the weakest application from the suite, the same way Presently is the worst app from Google Docs. It's difficult to manage presentations because they usually have a bigger size than other documents, require some good image manipulation tools, visual effects and a lot of customizations.

  8. Ionut Alex Chitu,
    The embedded Google Docs presentation slows down loading your blog page in an annoying way. I could change my browser settings, but that would only help me. Others may be put off visiting the BlogoScoped pages.
    Please consider embedding a more lightweight presentation than the current one.

  9. @Anon:

    Thanks for the tip. The viewer is no longer displayed automatically, now you need to click on the screenshot.

  10. The performance in Internet Explorer 7 is terrible: the browser uses tons of memory and is unusable for 4-5 seconds while loading the presentation.

  11. Can I be the first to say it...!

  12. Also GetOpera, GetSafari, GetKonqueror etc. Google should test every product in the most popular browsers and not release them until the performance is at least decent.